First off, I HATE MBC right now for depriving us of episode 16. Secondly, wow, that was a whole lot of lovely, tender, awesome and (in the second part of the episode)crazy. Good crazy, and some hard to believe crazy and some Eureka! – inducing crazy. Thirdly, despite the obvious obstacles, this episode was one of the best ones yet. It was fast paced by any standard, but for a show that likes to linger on (lovely, cute and character enhancing) details and revels in its atmosphere, it almost felt lightning-paced. Episode 13 is bursting with energy. Youthful, vivacious, talented-people-doing-their-thing-energy, that left me with an earnest “WOW, so THAT is where they were going with this”, as well as the by now expected laugh out louds, swoons, giggles and squeals in triple dose. Oh, and Ki Young? Why that boy ever wears a shirt is beyond me. If I were him, I’d wear minimal clothing and just exist in that Grecian god-like state of grace, simply being… gorgeous, as people gasped and swooned wherever I went. Okay, so maybe the only crazy element in this whole thing is me, but I do love me a show that makes good use of an awesome set o’abs.
Everyone is shocked that the centennial was canceled, and naturally, Kyu Won blames herself, but Shin is there to comfort her. Suk Hyun goes to ask whadda hell is going on and finds out that mommy has done it again in taking the route that makes the least sense and the most victims. Luckily by now we know that obstacles in Heartstrings land are short lived, and as we watch our characters go through a rather painful reaction to hearing that all their hard work had been in vain, we know that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and that it isn’t, you know, a train.
Joon Hee keeps trying to contact Hee Joo to no avail, since mommy seems to have semi-sequestered her again. No wonder this girl has no friends, since this girl’s idea of motherly love is akin to being sent to the solitary.
Yoon Soo and Suk Hyun look more and more like a couple (actually, it was after episode 12 that I finally got to a point where I could see them together and not wonder why they were still a couple), with Yoon Soo showing genuine support and affection, even though Suk Hyun still seems a tad too wrapped up in his own world to truly notice her. And I find myself feeling for Yoon Soo instead of the director, which is HUGE, as anyone who has ever read anything I’ve written about this show can attest to.
Suk Hyun gets a phone call and heads over to Catharsis where he meets a guy who gives him a business card and an offer to return to Broadway. Elsewhere, Shin comes up with the idea of holding the centennial on their own terms and barges in on Kyu Won and grandpa’s dinner to share his plan. Haha, I love that whenever he sees Shin grandpa assumes he’s returned for more of his life’s story. At first Kyu Won is reluctant to agree, but once they make up their minds, they start to rally the support of everyone involved, even making Ki Young join their project and eventually detouring Suk Hyun from his return to Broadway. Everyone’s happy and eager to get to work, even pitching in with their own cash to help the production. Such is the dedication of the team that the leader of the Scene Stealers even donates her plastic surgery funds, which makes Soo Myung tell her that she’s pretty anyway, which makes her hug him, which makes him regret saying anything in the first place.
Joon Hee keeps insisting to meet Hee Joo, even sending her a letter and chocolate (which her mother shockingly delivers to her instead of throwing them away) and posting himself in front of her house. Well, having buried all my hopes for him and Bo Woon ending up together, I can only say that what he lacks in partner choice sense, he makes up for in determination, and it is rather sweet to watch him giving it his all for his “star”, despite her being a less than perfect individual (understatement of the year).
The girls and Shin are making promotional posters in the boys’ practice room. At one point, two of the girls get the message and step outside, but Bo Woon is hilariously oblivious of the fact that when two people have just started dating, they appreciate alone time. Shin takes it upon himself to inform her of the situation via some amusing grimaces, and she takes the hint, exiting the room. But just as the two are getting cozy, Bo Woon lives up to her reputation and comes back inside, saying she went out to be polite but really has nowhere else to go. And we wonder why there’s been a suspicious lack of kissage on our couple’s part.
Kyu Won practices for her stage appearance with the help of Yoon Soo, and at the end of practice they have a heart to heart about life choices and dream chasing, which really is something Yoon Soo knows a lot about, having sacrificed the love of her life to follow a dream. I am glad we finally get to see the two female leads interact in such a way. We got a glimpse of what their relationship could be back when Kyu Won started practicing for the musical, but then the situation tensed up because of Shin chasing after the ballerina so Kyu Won-Yoon Soo relationship pretty much faded into the background.
Shin and an exhausted and sore Kyu Won are heading home at the same time as her dad and his mom, only from different directions. Kyu Won sits down on a bench and Shin begins massaging her leg muscles to ease the pain from her intensive workout. If there was a “best boyfriend” award out there, Shin’d surely be one of the winners. Kyu Won realizes this little detail, leans and kisses his hair/forehead, much to his delight and surprise.
Of course, afterwards she is too embarrassed to stay in the moment and give way to the long awaited real kiss, but certainly not as embarrassed as she is when she finds herself face to face with her dad and Shin’s mom, who incidentally are holding hands(because the mom had hurt her leg, and for no other reason, but the preview editing people are eeeeevihl and have led us to believe something more was going on). I don’t know what’s worse, having your dad see your boyfriend groping your legs, or to see your dad holding hands with your boyfriend’s mom, but my vote would definitely go for both at the same time. Sheesh. Talk about lousy timing.
Everyone’s baffled and discombobulated so they each head home for some ‘splainin. The dad confesses to Kyu Won Shin’s mother had been his first love (apparently an affinity for people in that family is hereditary) and Shin’s mom tells him that she and Kyu Won’s dad were supposed to get married, which leads Shin to realize that he’s the guy his dad had snatched his mom from. Talk about tangled histories. Obviously, it is not easy news to digest, but our two favorite characters decide to face it together, talking about it over the phone, and later Shin sings his comfort song to her as she falls asleep. I’m beyond ecstatic that our couple is not going the traditional drama angst couple separation route (at least so far) and instead are staying together, helping each other out and keeping each other strong. If you think about it, they haven’t really separated once (for very long) ever since they met. First, it was Kyu Won that stood by Shin through some horrible times and at great personal cost, and now it’s Shin’s turn to be by her side and help her through the difficulties she is facing. My heart, it fills with joy.
The boys and girls perform together at Catharsis(and boy, do they look good on stage together!) to raise money for the centennial, but aside from the performance, money raising entails quite a bit of fan service, especially from Shin, which makes Kyu Won jealous and sends her into over(flirting)drive. Her zealous flirting makes Shin jealous (look mom, I’m rhyming!), which makes him up the ante on the fan service and basically gets them both making neener neener faces at each other all night long. Immaturity for the win!
Shin walks her home and they bicker all the way there, having me hoping that the bickering will lead to some steamy kissing. But no, even if Bo Woon isn’t around, the kissing still isn’t happening. Come on guys, if saliva exchange is out of the question(and I’m sure it is), can’t you at least spare us a measly pucker’n press? Please, for the sake of our vicarious living hearts!
That night, Kyu Won gives her dad and granpa tickets to the centennial. The reluctant gramps plays hard-to-attend, but Kyu Won uses the cutesy card to get him to do it.
The next morning, our resident adorable stalker is waiting in front of Hee Joo’s house, when he sees her and her mother heading out. He tells Hee Joo that he will wait for her, which gives way to crazy#1: Hee Joo asking Joon Hee to bust her out of the hospital (again) and going to rehearsal to reclaim her position as leading lady. The shamelessness of that gesture is shocking to me but not quite as shocking as what follows. Shin and the crew are as shocked as I am, but Hee Joo asks Kyu Won to decide if she’d rather stay on as leading lady and have Hee Joo step down or go on as originally planned. Not surprisingly, but none the less gulling, Kyu Won agrees to let Hee Joo reprise her role. *que Crazy#2* Don’t get me wrong, I get why it has to be this way, but I seriously wish Kyu Won kicked Hee Joo out instead of giving the girl that slandered her the chance to star in the performance that she raised the money to hold. Ugh.
Shin is a little disappointed by Kyu Won’s response, but still figures she must be in pain, so he goes after her and gives her a hug despite the brave face she’s putting on. Awww, I love that he’s so attentive to how she must be feeling.
Then follows Crazy#3, which is Hee Joo giving Kyu Won honest tips and helping her train. I get that they are trying to redeem Hee Joo and that they are running out of time to do so, but I still can’t help but get some chills down my spine remembering her previous 12 episodes worth of bitchiness. Don’t get me wrong, I like the patching up and mild bonding, I just don’t fully buy it. Minor point, but still. But I don’t get a chance to feel too bad about it because Hee Joo’s mother finds out she’s back in the performance and comes to tell people she can’t use her voice to sing, so she’s back out again.
Aaand, it’s showtime! Everyone gets ready and even Frustrato-guy gives them some money in support of the performance. Crazy#4 – am I actually supposed to believe this could happen? Fine then. *pout*
All the cast looks exceptional, but Shin REALLY stands out in his rock god outfit. I mean seriously, the boy is pretty whatever he wears, but dress him in stage gear and he shines like a star – which is kind of the point but I am too dumbstruck by how good he looks to think of a better comparison. We have a cute role reversal here, with Kyu Won helping Shin get over some pre-stage jitters by telling him what he had told her the day of her first performance, to tell the audience “you’ve fallen for me.”
The parents of all the members are in attendance and the show starts, but instead of Kyu Won, the stage is taken by Hee Joo, to everyone’s surprise, including that of her mother. Everyone is doing great, and Hee Joo even shares a (rather hot, albeit short) kiss with Ki Young. Come to think of it, with him taking his shirt off, that’s almost like getting to second base. Oh, did I mention Ki Young takes his shirt off? And that he looks gorgeous(Eureka! moment#1)? Oh, I didn’t? Well he totally does, see for yourself:
But as great as Ki Young looks, he has nothing on Shin: (except, maybe, a really chiseled six-pack, but who’s counting?)
Watching Shin and Kyu Won perform together makes me giddy, but knowing that Hee Joo of all people is up on the stage taking credit for it is frustrating as all hell. And seeing Kyu Won’s tears as she hides behind the curtain, aw man, pass the tissue, will yah?
Crazy #5 and Eureka! moment#2! I now know why things had to go like this. I get the bigger picture, the big point of it all, it was in front of my eyes all along, right from the beginning of the show, and as Kyu Won cries behind the curtain and her voice resonates to another person’s behalf, I realize this was never about the centennial, that was only a mobile for Kyu Won to realize what she really wants. It’s about a young girl who has always only been allowed to want to play the gayageum beginning to want something else; something that belongs to a world that collides with what her own has been until now. The tears she is crying are about her realizing she wants that something, to be a part of musicals, to perform on stage, and she couldn’t have realized it to that extent if she had gotten it, she couldn’t have realized it if it had been her in front of that curtain, because then she would have had a sense of closure, something to justify letting go of that want. We hoped for her to be on that stage, but if she had taken that away from someone whose dream it had been all along, if she had been the lead through a series of coincidences, then it wouldn’t have been the Kyu Won we’d gotten to know. So now it’s her turn to make a choice, and work to become an actress and feel as if she’s earned being on that stage (something that she had never felt, really, which is why she gave the part back to Hee Joo). So the dad moving in, the parents’ entanglement, the show, it all goes back to the initial issue of old vs. new, traditional vs. modern, grandpa vs. granddaughter. The next couple of episodes are going to be one helluva ride.